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Wilderness Canoe

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Wilderness Canoe
Wilderness Canoe
Journeys & Expeditions
for PEOPLE who aspire to do
Extrordinary Canoe Journeys

Journeys & Expeditions

What an amazing day I had with Matt! A great paddle while learning different stroke nuances. A little different than outrigger canoe!! The added trek to the Mica mine was magnificent with breathtaking views. Matt offered his expansive knowledge in history, geography, along with the fauna and flora of the area. Quite fascinating. A highlight day so far for this West Coast Canadian gal! Thanks again Matt!
– Leanne Taylor – Canada


Canada can be seen as the spiritual homeland of canoeing, the quintessential experience. Whether it is through the wide variety of uses of the canoe by indigenous peoples, the voyageurs & trappers or more recently environmentalists, summer camps and recreational canoeists.

Wilderness Canoe offer two main areas - the Algonquin, which is an Iroquoian word meaning 'the land of shining waters' and Temagami in Ontario alongside the potential to participate in a 'classic' Northern canoe trip to James Bay or Hudsons Bay.

Algonquin Park is a network of interconnected canoe trails amongst clear waters of its lakes and the myriad greens of the hardwood maple and pine forests surrounding it. Ideal as a first time canoe tripping experience. Short trips or longer outings, all within easy reach of Toronto International airport.

Wilderness Canoe can ensure that all your arrangements are taken care of, leaving you to enjoy your foray into the Canadian wilderness.

Temagami is a less travelled area compared to the Algonquin, it is a tougher prospect with rough portages. It does though have splendid vistas on the larger lakes, is less crowded and has a feeling of wildness more akin to our perceptions of the Canadian wilderness.

Wilderness Canoe have un-paralleled access to a Full Service provider in Temagami. This includes Accommodation, Outfitting and Food options alongside our insight into travel within the region. Options also exist for transfers of your group from either Toronto or North Bay airports.

Whether you would like to do the classic 'Golden Staircase' route, paddle whitewater (early season) or canoe the route less travelled Wilderness Canoe can be your Guide in Temagami.

The The Near North and the Far North - these are terms for the lands that lie to the north of the tree line and into the Barrenlands in respect of the Far North and the lands that descend from the Canadian Shield country in respect of the Near North.

Wilderness Canoe are able to offer a glimpse into travel by canoe in this expansive area of Ontario and Quebec. Travel here is relient on good campcraft and river skills alongside the ability to be self reliant in this sparsly populated region. Canoe trips here may be the first to descend rivers in decades in some instances, but generally only a handful of recreational canoeists travel these areas each year.

I can’t recommend Matt enough and he brings a wealth of canoeing and backcountry experience to any trip. It’s now the second journey I’ve been on with Wilderness Canoe and I’m already booked on for more next year.
– James Werb – Devon


France is a wonderful destination for all levels of canoeist. By Easter the weather will be warming up and sunny, so ideal to brush away the winter blues. Sunshine, Cafe's, wine and good food - nothing not to like...

The Drome valley to the east of Valence, nr Lyon is a relaxed venue with a wonderful river running its length. The Drome offers probably the most perfect introduction to moving water, ideal to hone skills and gain confidence.

Our annual Ardeche trips are becoming a popular choice. The river is still very quiet early in the season and water levels generally better than in high summer. We base ourselves close to Ruoms, giving access to various sections of the river. The highlights are canoeing under Pont D'arc and the two day descent of the Gorge D'Ardeche.

The Allier river is high in the mountains between the Ardeche and the Cevennes. A lovely clear river that allows canoeists to build experience and skill progressively. Based from the Camping Municipal in Langeac we venture out each day dependent on water levels and interest.

It was a great time for us, thank you very much and hopefully next year!
– Han & Arie Kreuk – Netherlands


Scotland is our home ground (water). There is so much on offer here - lochs, rivers and the coastal areas. We are mobile with our trailer and can operate anywhere. The journeys we offer on North Uist, in Assynt and on Loch Shiel are all outfitted with top of the range composite canoes. Other areas involving either flat-water or coastal exploration can also be outfitted. Expeditions involving whitewater (Class II +) or technical descents would require your own equipment or an additional charge for us to outfit.

North Uist offers unspoilt scenery and an experience that you won't find elsewhere in the UK. Almost more water than land the Outer Hebridean islands are a wilderness on the periphery of the Atlantic ocean. Mountains that belie their stature, penetrating fjords almost splitting the land.

Assynt offers travel through a geological landscape, soaring peaks amid an expansive peat-land. Trace your route from the hinterland through this geological timezone, and down to the sea; if energy and time allow you can travel almost full circle..!

Loch Shiel provides a journey through history, from the foot of the mountains to the ocean. Pass through this landscape from the location of the 'Raising of the Standard' past ancient grave islands, through tidal rapids to an island dotted paradise beside white sand beaches, a castle and wildlife.

We have all come away with lots of learning, memorable experiences, increased independence, confidence, knowledge of what we need to develop further and a commitment to spend more time tripping to put all of this into practice.
– Forsythe family – Wrexham


We're able to partially outfit all Wilderness Canoe Journeys & Expeditions.

What does this mean?

The ultimate in canoes - Swift composite canoes, no one else in the UK is able to offer this.

Downcreek and Edenwood paddles - a wooden paddle is hard to beat and these are top of the range.

YAK bouyancy aids.

Sturdy canvas canoe packs. We ask that you bring your essentials in waterproof packs.

Green Outdoors Tipi tent - our social and kitchen hub.

Food - we can cater for your group. This is an OPTIONAL choice and is charged at cost.

Group kitchen and utensils.

Eco Firebox.

Mountain Equipment COOP Guides Tarp.

We can also supply the above to your own trips on request. Additionally we can source all your other camping needs - personal tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats etc. On Request.

About Wilderness Canoe & Matt T

wilderness-canoe about-logo
Wilderness Canoe

Based in Knoydart, Scotland - Wilderness Canoe are able to run expeditions throughout Canada, France, Scotland and beyond. Through a range of journeys, expeditions & other opportunities Wilderness Canoe provide a supportive Canoe Guiding service.

There are - however - sometimes tough and challenging moments. The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the Growth. No whingers please!

For those with a vision to be in wild spaces where reflection, observation of the surrounding world, cooperation in learning and helping each other along the canoeing journey can be experienced. We challenge clients to explore and question their canoeing skills, their knowledge of the world around them, and their relationship to canoeing. Wilderness Canoe hope to encourage a return to a deeper appreciation of traditional values believing this to be a vital part of true education/experience/exploration, and thus help to nourish the human spirit in an impoverished age. Through this exploration, you will achieve a strong sense of personal accomplishment and growth under our relaxed supervision.

Learn new skills, Experience true nature, Advance to higher levels; no one offers the same diversity and depth.

Wilderness Canoe journeys are contextual, we believe people need to experience activities, nature, wildness and ourselves to reconnect, stay connected and thrive. Contextual Learning allows for an environment where we can explore our surroundings, gain connection through involvement and multi-sensory feelings; practise skills within context; return to simple pleasures and a slower pace of life. Your experience will be in this fully participative expedition environment; let us help you achieve your aspirations and dreams.

Wilderness Canoe provide Guiding, Partial Outfitting or Hire & Custom Programmes. Contact Us for our advertised Journeys & Expeditions or to discuss developing a Tailor Made experience to meet your specific needs whether it's for camaraderie amongst friends, personal discovery and challenge, or simply finding solace from a world gone mad.

matt-thompson about-logo
Matt T

Wilderness Canoe, specialising in Canoeing for Canoeists.

Matt has been paddling canoes for more years than he remembers now... Beginning his immersion into the outdoors at a very young age, he progressed to wandering the hills and mountains of the UK once he could drive or hitch-hike. Followed by spending a few summers climbing in the Alps all the while working in the field of Outdoor Education in both the UK and France. In 2003 he decided to give his passion for canoeing a more serious focus - setting up Wilderness Canoe. A few more years of interspersing work for others, particularly in the Ardeche, France - finally led to a break from general Outdoor Education and a specialism in Canoeing and more particularly Expedition based Adventures by Canoe.

Wilderness Canoe have now led innumerable trips here in the UK, coached at symposia in the UK, France and in the USA, led trips to Norway, Sweden, France and Canada as well as in our new home - Scotland. We think of ourselves as the Canoeists Canoer. Spending time somewhere that we have used the canoe to access, sitting watching the stars or the sunrise, smelling the waft of fresh coffee brewing on the campfire, slowing down, reflecting and relishing the disconnect from your everyday world and the new found connectedness to this world.

I have had a couple days coaching in the past with Matt and he's been very focused on the coaching, rather than paddling much himself. As this was a 'peer' trip (and while I certainly got lots of coaching from everybody), one of the most enjoyable things of the day was watching Matt playing on the rapids, grabbing tiny eddies and frankly making his Swift Raven dance! All so effortless and graceful.
– John Ferguson - Cheshire

Contact Wilderness Canoe

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Our Location

Focused on making the little stuff better, we’re driven to create custom Journeys & Expeditions that reflect our unique point of view, our heritage & our style.

Our Adventure Levels
Whilst not set in frozen water, the star rating can guide you. Always send a msg to check your understanding though.
  • Short & Friendly

    Ideal for those who have never stepped into a canoe previously

  • Maybe an overnight, or longer day

    Again pretty straightforward, ideal for Beginner to Families

  • Getting pretty adventurous

    You will have some fundamental skills, be comfortable in the outdoor environment

  • Adventurous

    For those with extended outdoor experience and sound canoe skills.

  • Definitely for the totally ADVENTUROUS..!

    Very comfortable in the outdoors for extended periods, good solid canoe skills on either flat or white-water.

5 Steps to adventure
Create your own adventure or expedition with our 5 Step outline.
  • be inspired

    Chat to us via facebook, twitter, email, in person or at an event.

  • find out more

    Use the internet, ask others, ask us, read books & anecdotes, peruse photo's.

  • create an adventure

    Something that inspires YOU, us & others.

  • get a plan together

    We have coffee & cake, maps, pencil & paper..! Let's do it.

  • invite those you know

    Sharing experiences is a great way of journeying, creating memories and stories to tell.